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When Kellogg admissions officers review an application, they evaluate potential students based on six categories. Here, Melissa Rapp, director of admissions for Kellogg’s Full-Time MBA Programs, demystifies what happens once you submit your materials and helps you think about how to craft the story that will help the Admissions team learn more about you. 


ADDITIONAL TOPICS: Work experienceIntellectual abilityProfessional goals, Leadership

Our team understands how demanding a career can be, but pursuing interests outside the office helps maintain a balanced and engaged life. Our Admissions committee wants to understand what fulfills applicants outside of work and how they’ve made an impact within an organization or a community that matters to them. In the United States, we think of this as “extracurricular activity,” but it applies all over the globe.

What matters here is quality of experience over quantity; two years of involvement with one activity means a lot more than eight brief commitments in eight different places. We like to see our applicants involved with something they’re truly passionate about.

If it fits in with your personal career narrative — say you volunteer with a literacy organization and you want to pursue education policy after Kellogg — that’s great. But for plenty of applicants, a personal passion or commitment is not directly connected to career goals at all.

We also recognize that some jobs may not leave a lot of room for involvement outside of work. Thankfully, there are opportunities for impact within the workplace, too. Did you lead recruiting efforts? Did you spearhead a green building initiative? Having an impact on organizational culture or community is just as valid, important and interesting to us. Passion and engagement are universal features within the Kellogg community, and there are a lot of ways to show us that you’re the type of person who makes a difference.

Apply now!

For more information about Kellogg’s application components, visit our website.

Melissa Rapp is the Director of Admissions for the Full-Time MBA and MS in Management Studies Programs. Melissa joined the Evanston Admissions team in January 2016 and was previously the Director of Admissions for the Evening & Weekend MBA Program located on Kellogg’s Chicago campus. She has over 15 years of higher education and admissions experience.